“When I lived in Mexico, I signed up for classes at a martial arts gym 15 minutes away from my hometown, Hidalgo. I’d take the bus Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I also played soccer, but I never thought to take photos of myself. Until recently, I was going to the gym 5 days a week and playing soccer with my friends. I didn’t migrate up north this year for many reasons, but one reason was to see how working out could change my body. I feel stronger now. I’m hitting weights that I never thought I would.
Sometimes you want photos to compare yourself to when you were younger or to remember a different time. I’ve been taking more photos now that I’m older and I got dressed up for these shots. With these photos I’ll be able to remember myself at this age and how strong I’ve become.
The gym is closed now, but I try to go running or train with hand weights. I miss being able to train in the gym and attend English class, but I know things will get better eventually. Work in the fields is slow now too, but as long as I have a job, I’ll go.”
Jose, an Immokalee resident, poses for his first portraits. He is one of many essential farm workers in Immokalee.